Christmas to Me: A Message of Peace, Love & Justice

December 22, 2023

Another Christmas is at our doorsteps – a festival of colours, ribbons and candles, cakes, gifts and Santa. Joy, Celebration, Carols, Processions in red, Markets alive with display of food, sweets, parcels of gifts to be happily shared. In short, a festival to laugh, dance, drink and rejoice. Christmas, Merry Christmas, a feast loved by all universally. “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love” exclaims Hamilton Wright Mabie.

Yes, Christmas for days, years, decades and centuries symbolises love and brotherhood. The picture of a tiny babe in a crib surrounded by animals and people without any status in society, without financial power carries the message of unconditional love. Jesus entered this world to remind one and all that loving hearts are priceless. Today, where the world is dominated by billionaires, where respect is the birthright of the rich and powerful, is the message of Christmas alive? Time for reflection for all of us. How do we treat the less fortunate, under privileged, economically backward brethren of ours? Is Christmas only a celebration of gifts, cakes, candles and Santa? Or a festival of Christian values? Christmas symbolises peace. The message of angels “Glory to God in the highest and peace to people on earth” Isn’t the celebration of Christmas a mockery today with thousands of people, children in hell in his own birth place? When we rejoice with lights and Christmas decorations, can we forget the plight of people in Gaza, in Ukraine, in Israel, in Russia? Also in our own Manipur. If Babe Jesus had to be born today would Angels sing “Peace to people one earth”? Where are we heading to with all our progress in science and technology?

Christmas brings to my mind’s eye, a few instances of love, compassion, forgiveness preached and practiced by Jesus, a real revolutionary fearless and human.

1. The woman who committed adultery was brought before Jesus. According to the law of Moses, she had to be stoned. Jesus words “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 7:53. Jesus saw them going away. The words of Jesus “Neither do I condemn you.” In the world of today, when we educated individuals are so very judgemental this message of love and respect is the gift of Christmas.

2. Jesus’s compassion and love is manifested in his preaching about one lost sheep and ninety nine sheep in the possession of the shepherd. Contrary to human behaviour, Jesus talks about a shepherd going in search of one lost sheep. Jesus stresses that the shepherd rejoices on finding the lost sheep more than the ninety nine who did not go astray Matthew 18: 10-14. Christmas to me and to you is to meet the underprivileged, the poor and the lost. What is our reaction today towards sex workers, towards victims of abuse and exploitation? Let Christmas be real to you and me with real understanding of the exploited and the flesh workers.

3. Christmas is the festival of compassion and charity which is expressed beautifully by Jesus in the last judgement. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in”. Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” Matthew 25: 35-40. The strong message of bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. The entry to heaven through charity, the principle contrary to the reality of present society. Today the association with the rich, the elite, the top business people and leaders bring gain and popularity. Social service to the majority is for personal gain and popularity. As we celebrate the colourful festival on December 25th, a serious reflection on the teachings of Jesus is very essential. Are we sensitive to the needs of the hungry, the starving, the homeless, those in despair? Do we turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the needs of the underprivileged in society?

4. Christmas is the birth celebration of a revolutionary who outright condemned injustice, fearless Jesus. The pharisees excelled in following rules but they ignored the importance of demonstrating mercy seeking justice and practising faithfulness. The leaders and priests criticised Jesus when he performed acts of compassion. Therefore Jesus showed his anger expressing very strong words, “Woe to you, teachers of law and pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law, justice and compassion” Matthew 23: 1-12. He called them empty tombs, hypocrites, fools and blind. Christmas celebration is the celebration of the just and upright. In the society of ours, it is the silence of the good people, which adds fuel to the fire. Isn’t the world we live in full of injustice? Are we prepared to join the leaders, the social workers who fight for justice?

5. Though there are many instances where we learn wonderful lessons from the Christmas festival, Jesus humanity is manifested by the Sermon on the Mount which the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi emulated in his life. To a world full of materialism, power and corruption, the Sermon on the mount is outdated. But this world moves on because there are people saluting the core values of warmth, compassion, understanding and respect for human life. The sermon on the mount is close to the hearts of many such individuals. Matthew 5: 3-11 “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth”. In the beatitudes contrary to our materialistic approach, Jesus reaches out to people of good will, people who are not judged by their earthly possessions. Isn’t this a message to us to respect people because they are living human beings?

6. Christmas is a joyous celebration of immense love and compassion revealed by the final loving act of Jesus on the Cross. The great message pf forgiveness when the thief on the right chastised the thief on the left, when he made fun of Jesus. The penitent thief turns to Jesus and adds “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. The response of Jesus is of comfort and love. “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise” Luke 23: 41-43. Finally “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do “Luke 23:34. The prophetic words inspiration to many. Gladys Stain forgave the monsters who burnt her husband and children to death with the same powerful message of Jesus.

Dear friends, in my limited perception and knowledge, I have expressed what Christmas means to me. Warm wishes of this festival of the birth of Jesus.




By Perdita Hilda D'Silva
Perdita Hilda D’Silva is a retired professor of Economics. She has served Milagres College Kallianpur for thirty eight and half years as an associate professor, and vice principal. She is a member of Diocesan Family life Council of Udupi diocese, a social worker and a resource person.
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Comment on this article

  • Flavia/Remy Almeida, Sastsn/USA

    Tue, Dec 26 2023

    Very nice article about the message of peace, love and justice. Madam. It is really inspiring. Congrats. Continue by to write.

  • Dr Maria Pais, Kallianpur

    Sun, Dec 24 2023

    Thought provoking message mam. Mery Christmas 🎄

  • Alwyn, Omzoor/California

    Sun, Dec 24 2023

    Thank you for taking time to write. It proves that you can not only give a meaningful talk but also write sensibly. Continue to keep up the good work. We are proud of you. Merry and Peaceful Christmas. Alwyn & Mercie California

  • Renita, Kallianpur/London

    Sat, Dec 23 2023

    Wonderful, inspiring, timely and thought provoking message. A re)minder to all about the true spirit of Christmas.

  • Daniel, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 23 2023

    Well Written. Wars are elite making for raking billions in weaponry also through inflation and for divide and rule. They even started business through spreading viruses and again raking billions in so called vaccines which are deadlier than disease just to reduce much population for their better control and to bring their new world order. So to claim they are gods and make real God revolutionary!

  • Jossey Saldanha, Raheja Waterfront

    Fri, Dec 22 2023

    Irene Sequeira, You can settle your private scores Privately ...

  • Irene Sequeira, Derebail/USA

    Fri, Dec 22 2023

    Well written Madam Hilda but who has time to read such a long sermon/lecture.?

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